The backup strategy

For the past few years, I have been using an Apple Time Capsule to have an complete backup updated hourly of my Macbook. It has worked very well and has saved me several times when I deleted files by accident. Luckily I have not had to call upon it in the worst case scenarios such as hard drive death, fire, lost, stolen, etc. I needed a solution to have my backups offsite as well.

I initially thought I could do the old keep a hard drive off-site at all times with a whole backup. That however would require me to remember to do it, which I have proven time and time again I could not. After all, for years I had a hard drive on my desk, but never manually ran the backup.

I decided finally that I should give the online backup companies that have sprung up the past few years a chance. I haven’t heard any downright horror stories involving them. In fact, most reviews I have heard were very positive. Their prices are quite reasonable: $50-60 a year for unlimited backup per computer.

Right now I am trying out Backblaze, which seems to have gotten great reviews from what I can see, has great Mac support, and has a wonderful option of paying to have a hard drive shipped to you with your data. Mozy does not have this option outside of DVD’s (great a stack of 100 DVD’s should be fun to restore) and Carbonite doesn’t seem to have any option outside of download restores.

I am currently finishing up day two of the initial backup to Backblaze. So far so good, I have about 25GB of 99GB backed up, which works out to just about 12-13GB a day. At this pace, I should be backed up completely in about six more days. After that, from what I understand the service continuously backs up any file changes and only the parts of the files that actually change, so future backups should almost be instantaneous.

I will report my experiences with this service as time goes on and I get to use it. Hopefully I will never have to test how good the restore process is.